Barry Town United have been awarded the Domestic Licence required to participate in the Welsh Premier League - with four final fixtures standing between them and a return to Wales’ top flight.
The Town were one of 16 clubs across the country to receive the green light from the FAW’s Club Licensing First Instance Body, as confirmed at their annual meeting in Cardiff last Thursday (April 6).
Barry joined the 12 existing Welsh Premier sides and Huws Gray Alliance trio Prestatyn Town, Caernarfon Town and Flint Town United in achieving a Domestic Licence, which is a mandatory requirement for any club seeking to play at a Welsh Premier League level in the 2017-18 season.
With Prestatyn winning the Alliance in March, the Seasiders will take the place vacated by relegated Airbus next season, with Barry still needing further points from their closing fixtures to replace one of Rhyl, Aberystwyth Town, Cefn Druids or Llandudno, each of whom have important WPL fixtures this weekend.
As things stand, a finish in the top two of Welsh League Division One would be enough for Barry to secure promotion.
However, should Haverfordwest County (who were denied the Domestic Licence) mount a successful appeal and win the division, the Bluebirds would seize the one promotion place.
The set of scenarios had been further complicated the previous evening, as Penybont cracked the feeder league’s top three, with Rhys Griffiths’ in-form side sealing a 5-1 win at Cwmbran Celtic.
Despite the Bridgend club withdrawing their own Domestic Licence application earlier in the season, a top two comprised of Penybont and Goytre would see Barry edged out of a promotion place.
However, Penybont and Goytre must play each other at Bryntirion Park on Saturday, April 22, and with Haverfordwest falling 3-1 to Cambrian and Clydach at the weekend, any promotion prospects remains in Barry’s hands, despite the Town falling to a 1-0 defeat at Goytre United last Saturday.
After eight consecutive wins on their travels, Barry found themselves without James Dixon, Jordan Cotterill and Tyrell Webbe on Saturday, as a former Town player emerged to make the difference.
With a first half stalemate giving little away, spritely midfielder Scott Jones emerged to score the second half winner, keeping his former teammates tied to 54 points at sun-kissed Glanhafod Park.
Following second-placed Goytre’s game in hand against Taffs Well last night, Barry will look to reassert their focus and claim as many points as possible from the four remaining matches.
Supporters will welcome the news that three of these are at home, beginning with Risca United this Saturday (April 15) and continuing with the rematch against Goytre United on Tuesday evening.
Admission to the Jenner Park fixtures is available on the matchdays, with entry via the Gladstone and Barry Road turnstiles £5 per game and concessions available for seniors, students and children.
Fans intending to come and cheer on the Town are advised that the Tuesday night match with Goytre United will kick-off at the earlier time of 7.15pm, with Saturday’s set for the regular 2.30pm.
The Town’s final away day of 2016-17 is at Cambrian and Clydach on Saturday, April 22, with the curtain coming down on the campaign seven days later against Ton Pentre at Jenner Park (both 2.30pm kick-offs).